Name: Brennan McDaniel
Sport: Men’s Basketball
Hometown: Roswell, Georgia
Major: Economics (Business specialization)
Why did you choose UChicago?
I chose the University of Chicago because at the time it was the #3 school in the country for academics, and the school is known for its Economics program which was of interest to me. I was also afforded the opportunity to play college basketball. So it was the perfect combination for me.
Favorite moment of your UChicago athletic career?
One of my favorite moments of my UChicago athletic career was my freshman year. Our last game of the season, we played WashU at home. At the time, WashU was #2 in the country with an undefeated UAA season. We ended up winning that game, stopping them from winning the conference unscathed. It was also a great way to send our seniors out and after the game, our entire team was going crazy! A similar scenario happened my junior year when we did the same thing. Both were very joyous moments in my athletic career at UChicago.
Favorite team tradition/activity?
My favorite team tradition/activity had to be taking a foreign trip with the entire team. Going to Spain for two weeks was an amazing and unforgettable experience, and I am so glad I got to share it with the rest of my teammates.
What made you fall in love with your sport originally?
I’ve been playing basketball since I was about three years old, so the love for the game has almost always been there. I truly became passionate about basketball after the 2008 NBA Finals. The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2. My father was rooting for the Lakers, but I really liked the “Big 3” in Boston. Ray Allen was my favorite player at the time. After they won, I remember practicing for months trying to perfect Ray Allen’s jump shot. That’s probably when I realized I had a passion for the sport.
What lessons have you learned through competing in your sport that have stuck with you?
Some things I have learned along the way of being a student-athlete: – A player is always better with a team of supporting members – Actions speak louder than words – Mentorship can provide a greater impact on a person than success.
What advice would you give to your first-year teammates?
The more fun you have, the better you will perform on the court. Try not to look at college sports as a job or task, but rather as an opportunity to spend quality time with your friends.
Favorite UChicago class that you learned the most from and why?
Self, Culture and Society was a social sciences course I took my freshman year. This was one of my favorite classes, because it gave us a new perspective on the individual and the community as a whole. I learned that small actions can have large impacts, and I also learned that perspectives, as they help shape reality, are very important.
Which UChicago faculty or staff member made the greatest impact on you and why?
Ms. Charmaine is a faculty member who has previously worked at the front desks of the dormitories, as well as the library. I remember moving into the dorms my freshman year, and she came up to me and my family and said, “Oh, don’t worry about this one… I’ll make sure he’s doing what he’s supposed to.” For the next three years, I saw her around campus and she made a point to give me a hug, and check in on me, every time I saw her. Her genuine and warm spirit is something I truly appreciate, and have never taken for granted, throughout my time at the University. I’ve got mad love for that woman, haha!
Favorite place on campus?
Cathey Dining Hall.
What are your post-graduation plans?
Start my career in the Financial Services Industry.
Outside of your current sport, which sport or activity do you feel like you would excel at the most?
Favorite Chicago restaurant?
Favorite place you’ve visited?